CHAT ROOM RECAP: Pflugrad, fans range wide

IN AN EARLY LUNCH conversation in the CF.C chatroom Wednesday, WSU assistant coach Robin Pflugrad answered questions from Cougfan.com subscribers. Here's the exclusive summary of that straight-forward conversation, and your chance to gain the insights of WSU's assistant head coach, tight ends coach and one of the preeminent recruiting coordinators in all of college football.

COUGFANcom:: Welcome coach Pflugrad!!! Let's open it up for questions from the Cougar faithful here on CF.C !!

DobasD03:: Coach...how is the team attitude after the last two games?
tfcoug:: What is the mood/attitude of the team this week after two tough losses?

CoachPflugrad:: We had an excellent practice on Tuesday. The players were flying around, the coaches were flying around. The attitude was awesome. Very, very positive practice. The coaching staff is excited about getting out there today and continuing where we left off yesterday afternoon.

tomcoug:: How do losses affect the recruits' viewpoint of their trip to Pullman?

CoachPflugrad:: We had two recruits in last weekend. We believe they had positive visits even though the outcome of the game wasn't what we, or the entire Cougar nation, had anticipated. Losses obviously can affect recruiting, but it is just one piece of the pie. There are many other issues that we stress.

Kennewick Man:: Kids who plays within 10 miles of I-5 gets lots of recruiting hype while those from smaller schools don't. How come that doesn't change?

CoachPflugrad:: The only way it will change is if the highway structures change. The population base governs many things. That's why many citizens of Pullman, we know we are paying for the roads in Seattle. It's the same in recruiting, you don't ever change that. You continue to work on your own strengths and minimize your weaknesses

wsufootball:: Coach Pflu-I hear Coach Greene might be looking at #81 (editor's note: Pflugrad's son) from Pullman H.S. as a possible DB recruit. . .can you comment?

CoachPflugrad:: I can't comment on No.81 other than his mother makes dinner for us every night.


dgibbons:: How do websites like this one affect recruiting?

CoachPflugrad::Websites are one of the biggest changes in recruiting in the last 5-6 years. Our entire staff really doesn't get too involved in the websites, if we did I would be concerned we were spending too much time away from football. It is a little like the I-5 situation. We don't have any control over it.

DobasD03:: Coach, are the coaches talking about getting the TEs more involved in the offense? It seems that the blocking has been pretty good from the O-line.

CoachPflugrad:: We have involved them more this season and we will continue to involve them. We have some very solid players at that position. They have been blocking very consistently this season which is obviously helping Jerome Harrison, who in my opinion is the most underrated player in America. If he was at an I-5 school, he would be on the Heisman ballot.

tomcoug:: How have the hurricanes affected recruiting in Texas and other parts of the country? Do some parents want their kids to get away from that mess and go to a place that has basically no natural disasters? Also, have you been in contact with anyone directly affected by them?

CoachPflugrad:: We have discussed the Gulf Coast region in recruiting. One of our best recruiters, Leon Burtnett, has a great handle in that area. We all have great confidence in Leon that if there is news or a player wants to move out of the area, Leon is going to know ASAP.

sselfcoug:: A lot of the fans have been critical of the coaching staff the past two weeks do you think that is fair?

CoachPflugrad:: I'm a firm believer if someone pays for tickets and is a booster or supporter, they have a right to their opinion. You would always hope they use this right or privilege in a constructive and positive manner. The last two games have obviously been extremely disappointing to our football staff and we are working diligently to improve our football team.

JMKCoug:: Typically, what position is the easiest to find talent for in recruiting?

CoachPflugrad:: To find talent is probably the running back position because it is marquee in every video. You get a change to evaluate that position. Many times you do not even see the WR or DBs on video tape.

ScottsdaleCoug:: Coach, you have a pulse on what recruits are looking for. Does not being a "Nike school" hurt us in recruiting?

CoachPflugrad:: We actually are a Nike school, to a certain extent.


tomcoug:: Coach, Do you find it hard to recruit athletes from certain schools(O'Dea) that don't traditionally send their students to WSU. Also, do you run into kids who have parents that are Huskies that REALLY don't want their son going to WSU. If so, how do you deal with that?

CoachPflugrad:: Certain schools are a challenge. Many times the toughest one to get is the first one. And if that recruit has a positive experience it is much easier to sell WSU and what we have to offer. That is also similar to certain geographical areas, if you get one recruit you have a much better opportunity to get more: i.e., Texas.

COUGFANcom:: Coach, any guess on if the Texas-Louisiana area will be paying dividends again this year for WSU?

CoachPflugrad:: I certainly hope so. Our young players from that region are all playing football as true freshmen.


Kennewick Man:: How badly will Derting's injury-prone history hurt his NFL draft status?

CoachPflugrad:: It's hard to tell on Derting's injury. Many, many, many scouts are still extremely interested in Will Derting and in my opinion the ones that aren't, should resign immediately.

RoseBowlCoug:: Coach, as a result of the past two games, have any athletes become more vocal in the locker room or at practice; i.e., tried to assume a greater leadership role? If so, who?

CoachPflugrad:: Leadership role: I think the senior class is exerting more leadership as an entire class. Adam Braidwood and Troy Bienemann are two names that immediately come to mind.

ScottsdaleCoug:: Sorry, Nike Uniforms as well. When ASU switched from Adidas two years ago, there was a big deal made down here about the impact it will have on recruiting...not just by media, but "Dirk" as well. Please beat ASU, by the way...!

CoachPflugrad:: Apparel sponsors, facilities, shopping malls, will always make an impact in recruiting. It is not always the sizzle that we are after. We are after the substance and the total person in our recruiting philosophy.

derting51factor:: Do you consider this next game a must-win in order to reach a bowl?

CoachPflugrad:: We all look at must-wins as an 11-0 season. When we talk about it in the summer, that's what our goal is. Therefore, every game is crucial to the success of our program. Our backs are against the all and we will be facing an improved and talented UCLA football team, that is also well coached. I'm excited to see how we respond.

tomcoug:: Are there any things that fans such as ourselves do that actually hurts our recruiting? If so, please let us know and we will try to get the Cougar nation to remedy that. If there is anything that could help also inform us.

CoachPflugrad:: Recruiting Help: Under NCAA regulations, there is little if anything that the Cougar Nation can help us with. Positive support is the number one way to help the staff and football team.

04Coug:: What position/positions do you see major needs at?

CoachPflugrad:: Positions: We need some immediate help at the wide receiver position, at the DB position. We need some young talent at tight end. We nee to recruit to every position to have the depth to be competitive in the Pac-10 Conference.

IBC2991:: How big of a piece to the picture to recruiting do you see the plans for expanding/remodeling Martin Stadium?

CoachPflugrad:: Martin Stadium: Martin Stadium remodeling is HUGE! It is important to keep up in the arms race even though we are about the total player. Teenagers like to see glamour and glitz to a certain extent. A remodeled stadium would greatly assist us in the initial first response, the oh-WOW syndrome. Most people like new, clean, shinny cars, and it is becoming that way in stadiums across America.

ScottsdaleCoug:: follow up on Martin expansion: will a full Martin with it's current capacity have a better affect than a 3/4 full expanded version?

CoachPflugrad:: Martin follow-up: Yes, the new, remodeled expansion would have much more positive. If you build it they will come. I went through that process while at the Univ. of Montana. A lot of people came to see the stadium and really liked the stadium and the product and became season ticket holders.

tomcoug:: Coach? What position to you enjoy recruiting the most? The least? The Hardest?

CoachPflugrad:: I enjoy recruiting the position that we need the most.I enjoy recruiting all different positions. I enjoy the speculation involved in the process and I really enjoy your gut and heart feeling about a player and standing on the table for that individual.

sselfcoug:: Let the players know they have the support of Cougar Nation and that we will all be there in Spirit if not in Person this Saturday and Every Saturday. No Cougar Jumps off the Band Wagon because we are the Band Wagon. Once a Coug, always proud to be a Coug!

COUGFANcom:: Coach, what goes on in the locker room at halftime. Adjustments? Knute Rockne speeches? Gatorade and retaping and then back to work?

CoachPflugrad:: Halftime: Halftime adjustments are done sequentially: Staff interaction, then positional breakouts, as a position coach these are the 2-3-4 things that we need to do better. Then Coach Doba motivationally talks to the players and it's time to get back out. I wish there were a few more minutes but it's all relative. Each team has the same amount of time.

tomcoug:: How do you pick which players to hook the recruits up with each weekend?

CoachPflugrad:: SIMILAR INTERESTS ARE ALWAYS IMPORTANT, geographical regions, if our player happens to know a recruit, similar positions, similar academic interests. We meet bi-weekly to evaluate our hosts and set them up with our recruits.

COUGFANcom:: Coach, what do you like about working with and for Bill Doba.

CoachPflugrad:: On Doba: His integrity, his honesty, his ability to treat you the way you want to be treated. he respects you as a person and as a football coach. He also respects you as a husband and a parent. He doesn't second-guess, which allows you to feel confident in your day-to-day activities as a coach.

RoseBowlCoug:: Coach, rate, if you can, how each of the previous several recruiting classes are contributing to the current team?

CoachPflugrad:: Recruiting Classes: The last class has really helped our special teams. We have made a few mistakes because we are young but our team speed has greatly increased in the last two classes. We are playing a lot of true freshmen, which I think bodes well for the future of the program.

CoachPflugrad:: Time for one more question?



JMKCoug:: What are your plans for your personal future

CoachPflugrad:: Personal future: To beat UCLA!!



COUGFANcom:: Coach Pflugrad, thanks for all your valuable insights. Truly a pleasure. ONWARD CRIMSON SOLDIERS !!!!

CoachPflugrad:: Thanks everyone.


Cougfan Top Stories